Jake shot James in last week’s Scandal cliffhanger, leaving David alive and in the clutches of B-613 in “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.”

RIP James Novak

The episode began where we left off last week, with Jake (Scott Foley) walking up to James (Dan Bucatinsky) and David (Joshua Malina), gun in hand. David stood stunned while James ran for his life, getting a bullet in the back for his troubles. With James down, Jake turns to David and asks, “Are you smart, David?” The answer is yes, and David now has to help Jake and B-613 cover up the murder.

The next morning, while David arrives on the scene Jake orchestrated to look like a car jacking gone wrong, Cyrus (Jeff Perry) is sitting catatonic in his office with Liv (Kerry Washington) by his side. She swears to him that she will find whoever is responsible for James’ death and that they will be brought to justice. Cyrus doesn’t acknowledge her, but instead we get to see flashbacks of when he met James on the campaign trail before he was out of the closet.

James approaches Cyrus looking for a quote and the two share muted flirty banter in which James and Cyrus exchange a bit of fashion advice: Cyrus tells James to exchange his leather jacket for a suit and tie, and James tells Cyrus to shave his “neck beard.” In the next flashback, James makes another move on the now clean-shaven Cyrus, who protests that he is even gay. In the end, they end up making out outside of one of Fitz’s campaign stops.

Mellie And Andrew Hook Up

In the Oval Office, Mellie (Bellamy Young), Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Andrew (Jon Tenney) discuss how to proceed with the campaign in light of James’ death. Fitz wants to suspend the campaign for the time being and VP Sally Langston (Kate Burton) calls him to offer her condolences and promises to do the same. Of course, she’s lying and plans on swooping in on the gun lobby event Fitz was originally scheduled to speak at. Unable to un-suspend his campaign without looking opportunistic and cruel, Fitz, Liv and Cyrus, who insists on working, decide instead to send Mellie and Andrew. Mellie knows her way around a firing range, and the gun lobbyists love her.

At the event, Mellie and Andrew do their best to sway the gun lobby, but are told that Fitz’s track record is simply not good enough to warrant their support and they are leaning towards Sally Langston. Mellie, in a last ditch effort, uses her charm to suggest a deal: the President will make a speech pledging allegiance to the second amendment and gain the support of the gun lobbyist. The deal is made, and Andrew is in awe of Mellie’s political prowess. When he calls to tell the President the good news, he asks Fitz if he wants to congratulate Mellie himself, but Fitz passes and hangs up. Andrew tells Mellie that her husband doesn’t appreciate her, and the two end up hooking up on the hotel room floor.

Fitz and Cyrus talk about the gun lobby deal, but Cyrus tells Fitz he shouldn’t do the speech. Sally Langston, he says, publicly loves guns more than God and the democratic candidate shot and killed his wife’s lover in the back. Fitz, on the other hand, was the victim of an assassination attempt and his press secretary was just shot and killed. By coming out in favor of gun control, Fitz could sway undecided voters and a few democrats.

Liv Pledges To Take Down B-613

At the White House, Liv notices that Vanessa Chandler is missing from the press briefing and quickly realizes that B-613 must have eliminated everyone who knew about the Daniel Douglas murder, including the young journalist and David Rosen’s contact at the NSA, not to mention James. She goes to B -613 to confront Jake, who doesn’t deny his involvement. He explains to her that he did what he did because it is his job as Command to make these decisions. Unlike Rowan (Joe Morton), Liv’s father, however, he didn’t send a poor, lost soul to do his dirty work. He did it himself. This does little to quell Liv’s anger and disgust, nor does his thinly veiled threat to her life – “Random, coincidental bad things happen to good people all the time.”

Liv walks straight out of B-613 and arranges a meeting with her father. He meets her, guns ablaze, but she tells him that she doesn’t want to talk to Rowan, formerly Command, she wants a dad. Rowan gives his daughter a very strange pep talk, which begins by admitting that he is responsible for 183 murders and ends with him telling her that she needs to keep going and work to end political corruption.

Meanwhile, David is having trouble accepting his role in James’ death. Jake serves up a willing fall-guy to confess to James’ murder and alleged car jacking in return for free health care and a new liver courtesy of the U.S. correctional facilities, but David can’t bring himself to send an innocent man to jail. Once Pope & Associates confirm their suspicions that B-613 killed James, Abby (Darby Stanchfield) goes to David and tries to get him to confide in her. He tells her he feels guilty and he can’t understand why he is the only one left alive.

While Abby takes care of David, Huck (Guillermo Diaz) goes to pay Quinn (Katie Lowes) a visit. He spotted her taking out the file on Daniel Douglas’ murder on a hidden camera he placed inside Liv’s safe. Quinn asks if he dropped by to collect more of her teeth, or maybe a finger this time, but Huck says that, quite the opposite, he came to kill her. But then he realized that he had trained her to be smart, and she must have known that she would get caught on camera. This must be some kind of cry for help – she is still a Gladiator. Quinn spits in his face during their heated argument and then, suddenly, they start making out. They stop soon, both caught off guard, and Quinn tells Huck to leave.

For his part, Harrison (Columbus Short) is approached by his old colleague, Adnan Salif (Nazanin Boniadi), in a parking lot and she mentions something about an escaped convict. Her partnership with Liv’s terrorist, or ‘facilitator,’ mother, Maya (Khandi Alexander), is not going as she envisioned and she’s clearly thinking of turning her in. A car drives off in the distance, scaring Adnan, and she leaves telling Harrison to forget she ever came to him.

Harrison, Abby and Huck all walk into Liv’s office asking for a call to action. Harrison barely gets a word in about Adnan, Huck says that he thinks Quinn needs them to get her out of B-613 and Abby needs Liv’s help to convince David to arrest the patsy for killing James and save his own life in the process.

Liv decides to handle David first. She meets him at the Lincoln Memorial and tells him that he has to go along with Jake’s evil plan, at least for now. He can still wear the white hat if he puts this innocent man in jail. Instead of dying for this one man, he can stand and fight alongside Olivia and pledge to destroy B-613 once and for all.

The next day, Liv tells Cyrus that David has arrested a man who signed a written confession saying he killed James in an attempted car jacking. He marches into the White House pressroom and announces the news to reporters before finally breaking down into uncontrollable sobs. Fitz ushers him off the podium, and Liv continues the briefing, reclaiming her position as White House Press Secretary.

Scandal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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More on Scandal:

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